Government expands sanctions on Russia to include ‘big network’ supporting armed forces

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Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced new sanctions targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.  (File photo)

Tom Lee / Stuff

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced new sanctions targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. (File photo)

The government has broadened its sanctions against Russia to include the “broad network” of entities that support its armed forces.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said that Russia’s illegal and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine was made possible by its vast military-industrial complex, including an extensive network of defense entities, and that those- these would now be targeted.

“These organizations build and develop weapons, technology, communications systems and other hardware, and provide services like insurance and transportation,” she said.

The sanctions now targeted branches and independent branches of the armed forces, including logistical support as well as defense entities responsible for supplying arms and equipment to the military.

They also covered the insurance company SOGAZ, Russian railways and defense entities that research, produce and test military equipment for the Russian armed forces.

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The measures are the latest in a series of sanctions announced since March, which initially targeted President Vladimir Putin and his key supporters, and have expanded to include major banks and financial institutions with close ties to the regime, as well as customs duties on Russian imports, including Vodka.

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“President Putin and the Russian military are responsible for the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a serious violation of fundamental international law,” Mahuta said.

“Reports of atrocities and massive damage committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine are deeply worrying. By naming these entities, we are helping to identify and condemn the source of this unlawful aggression.

The Russia sanctions law, passed unanimously by parliament in March, authorizes a wide range of measures, including travel bans, asset freezes, financial transaction bans and entry bans ships or aircraft in New Zealand.

The measures also prevent New Zealanders and New Zealand companies from supplying goods and services to the Russian armed forces and other defense entities targeted by these sanctions, Mahuta said.

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